We’re very excited to announce that, today, we are relaunching TeslaThemes as WPRealEstate!
This is obviously big news, and a big change with a lot of different considerations.
In this post, I’d like to outline the reasons for the change and review what existing TeslaThemes customers and affiliates should expect.
First, why the Change?
Ultimately, this change in market focus is driven by two long term considerations we’ve had as a business.
First, the WordPress theme market has grown insanely competitive in recent years. There are dozens of high quality WordPress theme shops today. We think that’s awesome for the WordPress ecosystem! But we’ve also found that in such a busy marketplace, it’s harder to distinguish ‘generic’, all-purpose WordPress themes.
Second, as generic a theme shop, TeslaThemes has historically tried hard to serve a lot of small niches. We’ve had themes for real estate, recipes, musicians, ecommerce stores, photographers, event management, local business listings, and many other use cases.
For each of those, we were embedding plugin-level functionality in each separate theme. That created a highly complicated product line that’s difficult to maintain and keep up to date.
Perhaps most important: trying to serve so many diverse needs made it very hard to be truly great any at one of them.
In short, we’ve come around to the belief that it’s hard to be all things for all people. And we’ve decided we want to focus on doing one thing really, really well.
So why Real Estate?
So why real estate?
Well, TeslaThemes has been in the real estate space for a long time. Realtor, our theme for real estate, has long been one of our most popular themes. We’re replacing that theme with dramatically more powerful one – see below.
On the market side, the real estate market large enough to sustain a great theme shop. Yet, it’s also a unique niche – real estate professionals have specific, challenging, hard-to-solve needs.
This is particularly the case when it comes to embedding up-to-date real estate listings on websites. Because of the difficulty and niche nature of these challenges, no generic theme shop is likely to do a great job solving these needs. It simply requires too much focused energy and development.
On top of all that, the real estate industry is in the midst of a big change. Historically, showcasing listings on a website required real estate brokers to download, store, and sync huge databases. The intensity of that process was so overwhelming that it gave rise to an entire industry of intermediary companies who download and store databases for realtors. They are expensive.
In the last two years, the real estate industry has introduced a new and modern restful web api that makes the process of fetching and displaying MLS listing much simpler. It can be done without expensive intermediary services. Yet, few website providers have evolved to use the new web api. That creates a big opening to step in and provide a newer and better solutions for real estate professionals.
In sum, the real estate market is a big one where TeslaThemes was already active. It size, complexity, and recent changes make it a prime market where a focused WordPress brand can be successful and solve needs better than generic theme shops.
Our goal in the coming year is to become the best solution in this space.
Introducing the WPRealEstate Theme
WPRealEstate will be providing a powerful WordPress theme and WordPress plugin.
Our WordPress theme is a single theme with a library of designs. It allows users to quickly import a complete demo design to get started. You can also change between designs with one or two clicks.
Introducing the WPRealEstate Plugin
Our plugin is built from scratch from the ground up with modern WordPress in mind. It allows realtors to add and manage manual listings, MLS listings, and agents. You can display any of those alone or in batches. It includes mapping functionality, sophisticated search and filtering for listings, and more.
Unlike many long standing plugins that were built before the block editor and have cobbled together a kind-of-OK block solution, our plugin is block-editor-first.
And again, unlike many real estate solution that are built around the old RETS api that required downloading managing huge listing databases, our plugin is built with the new RESO web api entirely.
Introducing Custom Web Services
We will also be providing web services for real estate professionals. We’ll install and configure themes and plugins, work with you to integrate MLS listings on your website, do custom developments, and even help with SEO and other downstream marketing services.
For Existing Customers
If you’ve been an existing TeslaThemes customer, it’s reasonable to be concerned about this change. But we’re determined to make this change as smooth and promising as possible for you.
First, you will continue to have access to TeslaThemes products you purchased in the past.
Second, no matter which theme or package you bought in the past, you will also have access to our new real estate theme and plugin.
I should emphasize that while we provide some tech support for very our old legacy themes, we are no longer doing any active development on them. I am referring here to the original themes launched many years ago. Those legacy themes were built before we acquired Tesla, and had a range of significant problems that, together, were effectively unsolvable. They embedded custom plugins and third party plugins with questionable licensing that were hard to update after the fact. They embedded old version of Visual Composer (when it was still Visual Composer), and updating to the latest version (now WPBakery) would break existing content. The themes were built before the block editor, and in a way that was very difficult to update to the block editor.
For all those reasons, we replace the old legacy themes with an updated new theme framework, Tesla Pro, in November 2020. We will continue to support Tesla Pro, including bug fixes and security updates for at least a year.
Both Tesla Pro and WPRealEstate will be available for download in your members area.
If you are an existing customer and you have more specific questions about this change, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team.
For Prospective New Customers
If you are a realtor or a web agency that builds websites for realtors, WPRealEstate is made for you.
In the first few months, we’ll be going out of our way to work closely with you and to help you get up and running with our new product line.
We’ll also be looking to get a lot of initial feedback about our products. You’ll have the chance to influence our upcoming product priorities significantly.
If you are a TeslaThemes affiliate, you should create a new affiliate account here at WPRealEstate and update any links.
If you created an affiliate account since our big update in November 2020, your affiliate account is still active and your links will still work. You can login to your account now at WPRealEstate.com/affiliates.
While we have redirects in place to ensure your affiliate links still work, you may want to go ahead an update your affiliate links to point at wprealestate.com rather than teslathemes.com.
If you have a website or high profile pages focused on the real estate industry, feel free to reach out. We’d like to help you get set up as an affiliate and work with you to synergistically maximize benefits.
Before closing, I just want to add some personal notes that provide some context for this change.
For of the last 10 years, my biggest focus has been running Imagely (formerly Photocrati). Over that time, I was able – with the help of a great team – to build Imagely into a very large and successful WordPress company. Imagely’s biggest product was NextGEN Gallery, the most popular gallery plugin for WordPress and a plugin many in WordPress are familiar with.
Imagely was acquired in 2020. That’s another big reason for the current change.
As I move on from Imagely, I wanted another big project to focus on. I wanted it to be something I’m passionate about. I’m passionate about nearly every aspect real estate. I own multiple rental properties and I’m working toward a real estate license.
Going forward, I’m looking forward to putting all my focus on WPRealEstate.
So that’s our news. Thanks so much for reading. We’re looking forward to a great future in a new space.